Huddersfield Giants were looking for their first win as they wrapped up the Mose Masoe round at the Totally Wicked Stadium with a tough game against a Catalans side who themselves were seeking a second win after their Golden Point victory last weekend.
Jake Wardle, Sam Wood and Michael Lawrence all returned for the Giants who were still without the services of Aidan Sezer, with Samisoni Langi and Gil Dudson into the side for the Dragons.
Despite an awful run of losses, the Giants were only given a two-point start on the coupon against Steve McNamara’s Jekyll and Hyde side.
Sam Tomkins went close on five minutes but as the Giants defended their line, he offloaded to Matt Whitley who just had to drop over the line for the opening four pointer. James Maloney added the conversion for a 6-0 lead.
On twelve the Giants struck back as Lee Gaskell fed Chris McQueen to go through a gap in the Dragons defence and run in from ten metres. Jake Wardle added the extras to level the scores.
Jermaine McGillvary lost the ball on the Catalans line on eighteen as Tomkins hit the winger hard as the he looked favourite to score.
Maloney was sin-binned on twenty-three after a dangerous tackle on Josh Jones, the Dragons down to twelve men for ten minutes. The Dragons woes compounded by multiple stoppages for blood injuries, the Dragons medical staff doing their best to patch up their players.
It was the twelve men who scored on thirty-one to regain the lead as Ben Garcia rose above the Giants defenders to take a high kick and fall to the ground for the score. With Maloney still cooling his heels in the sin-bin, Tomkins kicked the conversion for a 12-6 lead.
When referee Thaler called the Giants offside on thirty-six it was Maloney, now returned after his little rest, who kicked the two-point penalty for an eight-point advantage.
A sensation Tom Davies break saw the Dragons winger sprint down the right wing and just as he was tackled by Wardle he passed inside to the supporting Mike McMeeken to walk under the sticks for a crushing four pointer. Maloney added the extras for 20-6 at the interval.
Good last ditch Giants defence kept Catalans out early in the second half when it seemed certain that they would add to their total.
It took seventeen second half minutes for the first points and they came from Sam Wood after he took a Lee Gaskell pass to go down the wing and slightly improve the angle. Wardle was unable to add the conversion, the Giants 10-20 behind.
An awful swinging arm high tackle from Joe Greenwood on Saminsoni Langi saw the Giants second-rower red carded on seventy-five and with his departure any hopes of a late Huddersfield fightback.
The Dragons make it two from two and join a host of clubs on four points at the top of the table. Steve McNamara will be very pleased with a good fortnights work in England as his side return to France for their next league game in a couple of weeks time. The more games that pass for the Giants without a win and in the absence of talisman Sezer, the more the monkey takes a firmer grip on the back of Ian Watson’s side.
Huddersfield Giants: McIntosh, McGillvary, Wardle (G), Cudjoe, Wood (T), Gaskell, Cogger, Yates, Cunningham, Gavet, McQueen (T), Greenwood (SO on 75), Jones. Subs: English, Edwards, O’Brien, Lawrence.
Catalans Dragons: Tomkins S (G), Yaha, Langi, Whare, Davies, Drinkwater, Maloney (3G, SB on 23), Bousquet, Da Costa, Dudson, McMeeken (T), Whitley (T), Garcia (T). Subs: Morgue, Seguir, Baitieri, Kasiano.
Referee: Ben Thaler.
Score Progression: 0-4, 0-6, 4-6, 6-6, 6-10, 6-12, 6-14, 6-18, 6-20 : HT : 10-20 : FT.